The last time I slept on my mattress, I was depressed. Diagnosed with dysthymia. My therapist suggests it started at the age of 15. 15! Most days for the last few months of 2018, I found it difficult to peel myself out of bed for hours. To shower. Run a comb through my hair. I could not feel.
The most common misconception of depression is that you’re just sad. I could not feel happy or sad. Mad or excited. I wasn’t able to feel. Just a numbing pain. I could not pinpoint how I got to that point. Finally, I was at the brink of ending all of my pain.
“I feel sad sometimes, but I’d never think to kill myself.” Words muttered from the one person I trusted. The partner whom I expressed myself to in hopes that he would help me understand. It turned out to be the polar opposite. Feeling misunderstood and judged by the person I loved most at that moment. Helpless. I put so much weight on how much I depended on him emotionally.
There were days that I came so close. Nights were the most difficult – couldn’t shut my brain off. Couldn’t find peace. I had the pills scattered on the counter. 32 pain and sleeping meds. I had the knife in my hand as the tub began to fill with water. Why would I want to perpetuate pain?
But I wasn’t done yet. I had been reading everything I could about suicide prevention, and the only thing that wasn’t blurry in those sea of words was to talk to someone shamelessly. How hard it was to let those words trickle out! To my therapist, psychiatrist, Pam, Trish, Jackie, Josh, Rachel, and Lisa. The people I love, and truly love me back. Hearing their reminders over and over about the things I’d miss out on. Experiences I would be giving up if I gave in. Their voices in my head playing over and over, hearing the pain in their voices as they choked up from shock and pain that I was causing.
They are my angels. If it wasn’t for their love – the true, nonjudgmental, unconditional, and most pure form of love – I would not be sleeping on this mattress today. This inanimate object that shouldn’t have so much meaning. But it does. Every day I wake up in this bed, I feel nothing but gratitude.
It took a lot of work to get here, but the human spirit is resilient. I may not be completely happy every single day. I still have my lows every once in a while. But I’m still here. More grateful and open than ever.